Saturday, December 29, 2018

What the Vikings Were Really Like

From Twenty-two Words:
In Old Norse, Vīking means “pirate” or “sea rover,” and that couldn’t be more accurate. The Vikings were Scandinavian people who scavenged and pillaged a region encompassing Scandinavia, North America, the Mediterranean, and Central Asia and Russia from the 8th to 11th centuries. What caused their expansion is debated, as some historians believe it was spurred by the religious persecution of the Saxon Wars led by Charlemagne– while others insist it was due to the economic and political weakness that occurred in Britain and western Europe. Regardless of motive, the Vikings left an indelible mark on the lands they both raided and settled. Today, we have pieced together what their culture looked like– from religious and social structures, seafaring practices, clothing and appearance, and even cuisine. We’ve also dispelled certain purveying myths about them, like the belief that they wore horned helmets into battle and the idea that they were big-boned and hulking. If you want to get a grip on these well-known peoples, or if you want to call “B.S.” the next time a TV show about the Vikings is produced, read on. (Read more.)

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